Tennessee Law for Tennessee Courts 2010
(NOTE: TENNESSEE WAS THE FIRST STATE)
There are 11 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington — that prohibit the use of foreign law in their state courts as of 2017, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is now being introduced in Idaho.
January 2012: American Laws for American Courts Accomplishes What the Oklahoma Amendment Has Not (Response to Oklahoma court decision)
UPDATE: Tennessee is a Leader in the Fight Against Using Foreign Laws - Now Everyone Else Wants to Follow
2011 UPDATE: A number of states have introduced similar bills in their state legislative body. In addition, on March 9, 2011, U.S. Congressman Sandy Adams (R-FL), along with 56 cosponsors, including TN Congressmen Black, Blackburn, Duncan, Fleischmann, and Roe, has introduced H.R. 973, a version of our legislation. It has been referred to the House Subcommittee on the U.S. Constitution
Eagle Council XXXIX, St. Louis, 10-12 September 2010
Panel: Be an Activist on an Issue
Left to Right: TX Attorney Jerri Ward - Dealing with Death Panels; Attorney Joanne Bregman (TN Eagle Forum) - Rejecting Foreign Law;Phyllis Schlafly; AZ Sen. Russell Pearce - Multicultural Curriculum; UT Rep. Carl Wimmer - Secret Ballot and Patrick Henry Caucus; MO Sen. Jim Lembke - Health Care Freedom Act.
Our very own Joanne Bregman delivered a definitive speech on Rejecting Foreign Law. This is the story behind our TN Law for TN Courts bill that we passed in the 2010 legislative session; the first of its kind in the nation. The text of the speech is available HERE. You want to read and share it. In addition, you will want to go HERE to order Sharia Law for Non-Muslims.
Joanne and her husband, Dr. Daniel Bregman, Chapter Leader, ACT for America Middle Tennessee, received the National Eagle Award for the State of Tennesse for their tireless work for God, Family and Country.
[Right: Joanne and Phyllis Schlafly, President and founder of Eagle Forum.]
As amended and passed, it is the public policy of this state that the primary factor a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other entity or person acting under the authority of state law may consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under any foreign law, legal code, or system against a natural person in this state is whether the decision rendered either violated or would violate any right of the natural person of this state guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution or the United States Constitution or any statute or decision under those constitutions.
STATUS: HB 3768 has passed Civil Practice Subcommittee, House Judiciary Committee, House Calendar and Rules. On April 26, HB 3768 passed the House floor 96-0-1. VICTORY ON THE FLOOR.
On March 23, SB3740 was presented in Senate Judiciary where Testimony was taken, an amendment was adopted and the bill was rolled and expected to be on the Senate Judiciary Calendar on April 27. VICTORY IN COMMITTEE -- SB3740 was voted out of Committee 6-0-1and will be on the Senate floor next week.
You will want to go HERE, then under 'Items' and click on SB3740 to see attorney Joanne Bregman's testimony in support of this legislation.
It is a distinct pleasure to report that on May 13th, SB3740 passed the State Senate Floor 32-0-1!
The governor signed the legislation on May 27and it became Public Chapter 983.
We want to thank our sponsors, Sen. Dewayne Bunch (R-Cleveland-left) and Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Savannah - right) for being willing to take on this groundbreaking proposal. Most of all I want to acknowledge with deep appreciation the work of my friend, attorney Joanne Bregman, without whose legal expertise, this bill would have never passed. It was Joanne who did the extensive research and prepared to answer the questions of the other lawyers in the General Assembly, responded to the TN Bar Association, testified before committee and before the Judicial Council. THANK YOU to everyone who contacted his or her legislator. We finally received the fruit of our labor and it was worth it all!!
Tennessee Law for Tennessee Courts
Purpose of bill:
ï¿½ preserve individual rights and the sovereignty of Tennessee and its Constitution by preventing the encroachment of foreign nation laws and legal systems that run counter to our constitutionally protected freedoms
ï¿½ ensure that courts and other tribunals in Tennessee will first consider whether an individual's constitutional protections have or would be violated by applying a foreign nation's law or enforcing a foreign nation judgment
ï¿½ apply a standard consistent with the Restatement 3rd on Foreign Relations Law of the U.S. with regard to enforcement of a foreign nation judgment
ï¿½ protect against unknowing or unintentional waiver of constitutional protections
ï¿½ not to interfere with federal law or international treaties.
This bill does not impair the right to enter into agreements nor does it prevent parties from signing and executing contracts governed under the terms of any foreign nation's laws or legal doctrine. Parties may still agree to resolve contractual disputes in a foreign tribunal or otherwise obey a foreign nation's law if so dictated by the terms of their contract.
This bill will not prevent the enforcement of foreign nation judgments that are unrelated to our constitutional protections. However, in instances where a judgment from a foreign nation's court under a legal system that does not recognize these rights, Tennessee courts will first have to consider whether the judgment can be enforced in light of any constitutional rights violations.
This bill does not apply to corporations, partnerships or other forms of business associations.
Why we need this bill:
The Legislature has already proscribed certain contracts and choice of law provisions as against public policy but not in the context presented by this bill. This bill ensures that in supporting the freedom to contract, the court will ensure that any waiver of fundamental constitutional rights is a knowing waiver.
Neither the Tennessee Code nor the Tennessee Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act address laws, legal systems or judgments that are otherwise not entitled to full faith and credit. As such, courts are left to "guess" whether and how to decide these cases. With regard to constitutional protections, the Legislature should clarify the public policy since one of the exceptions to enforcing judgments from foreign countries is contradiction to a state's public policy.
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